EW organized what might be THE premiere geek panel at Comic-Con 2010. The magazine’s “Visionaries Panel” featured  none other than geek-gods J.J. Abrams (Star Trek) and Joss Whedon (Serenity).

Conversation ranged from the Whedon/Abrams classic collection – Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Felicity – to the upcoming projects from the two “visionaries” that every geek is clamoring about (Marvel’s Avengers and Abrams’ mystery alien movie, Super 8). We’ve got the recap here.

Getting the important stuff out of the way upfront, here are a few little notes about both Whedon and Abram’s upcoming projects:

  • Whedon confirmed that he is in fact directing The Avengers for Marvel.
  • Whedon wouldn’t drop Avengers story details but confirmed he’s reworking the script at the moment.
  • Whedon is staying faithful to both the traditional tone of The Avengers comics and the new version of the characters being established in the new Marvel movies. He claims writing the team ensemble film will be aided by the fact that he knows the actors playing each part and what kind of feel each of the lead-in films – Iron Man, Thor and Captain America – will have.
  • Abrams confirmed that shooting on Super 8 will commence in September.
  • Super 8 will NOT be 3D (Can’t yet say the same about The Avengers).
  • No Super 8 footage was shown – because they haven’t shot any yet (see above).

Now that the major news is out of the way, onto some of the more intricate details extracted from the meeting of these two great geek minds:

  • Whedon and Abrams have actually met before, working for WB in the 90s, on shows like Buffy and Felicity. Not that that’s something I would bring up :-P .
  • Each of the filmmakers has had a real geek moment at one point: Whedon own an egg from Alien (he claimed he had to “bury the franchise” by writing Alien Resurrection to get it). Abrams owns the tongue from The Exorcist.
  • Joss Whedon was a born storyteller (read: nerd) – Abrams started out doing magic tricks but decided ‘magic nerds are worse than comic book nerds.’
  • Whedon’s Cabin In The Woods is done and still waiting to hit theaters; unfortunately the MGM bankruptcy is holding it up indefinitely. Whedon isn’t interested in converting it to 3D – he believes you should only use that format when appropriate.
  • A Dr. Horrible sequel is something Whedon is still interested in – but only on his terms, when the time is right. He’s really proud of the impact it had – giving power back to the artist via the Internet.
  • Whedon gets angry about the ending of  The Empire Strikes Back because he feels it’s not a ‘real’ ending – it’s just a stopping point. I’ll let you readers debate that one ;-).
  • Both Abrams and Whedon professed a love for serialized TV shows, even though they’re a hard sell to the networks. Whedon summed it up by using the sitcom show Cheers: people might not remember every individual episode of Cheers, but they certainly remember the serialized storylines, such as the epic Sam and Diane romance.
  • Neither Whedon nor Abrams is ready yet to launch their own TV channels – the demand would be too great.
  • Whedon gushed over how much he liked J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot – much to the embarrassment of Abrams.

Finally for you fans of the now-deceased Joss Whedon series Dollhouse, here’s a quick quote that highlights Whedon’s opinion on the show’s failure, and why he feels his new home with Marvel will work out better:

“I was…trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I learned that you should know your audience. I’m at Marvel right now and I’m extremely happy. They’re the studio, they know what they want.”

That about sums up one of the great panels of Comic-Con 2010 – we’ll try to get you updated with video of the “Visionaries Panel” as soon as becomes available. Stay tuned.

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